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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 19169
Experience:  Lawyer and current JAG officer.
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I am looking over the new MN act- Uniformed Deployed Parents

Customer Question

I am looking over the new MN act- Uniformed Deployed Parents Custody Act- and realized that they never mention the length of deployment required. So I was wondering what the military definition of "deployment" is. I am a newly appointed Army Reserves NCO, who was available for release as of December 19,2015 prior to my new orders, dated August 1, 2015. I am trying to figure out whether my required trainings, such as WLC, or AT, could be considered "deployments" directly under the new act. So an exact definition of the word could provide me protections, or else I will need to argue it out in court whether it is protected status or not, at the judge's disgression.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Here is a statute that gives some scope to the word deployment.

Basically, a deployment is considered any duty assignment when you can't spend your nights (off duty time) in the location you normally sleep during those times. For the reserve component, if you go to an AT somewhere and have an assigned dorm or hotel that you stay at during that time frame, if you can go there each night, you are not considered deployed. That's your actual home unit and your nights are spent in your normal "garrison" residence.

A longer training exercise, where you aren't in your normal location, would count though.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am confused by your answer. IS there a time constraint? Or is the fact that we are staying 5 hours away from home station on-base in barracks/ tents for training for 3 weeks enough to qualify the term "deployment" for AT? And the same for WLC, which will be two weeks in a similar setting to AT.
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

No need to open a new question to ask follow ups. Based on your explanation, you'd have a reasonable basis to call that a deployment.

But what you have to keep in mind is that the state court will actually decide what they think their law means by deployment. The uniform statute has its own definition which can't be altered by the federal statute.

You have to use the definition that that uniform statute uses. It specifically required mobilization for more than 90 days. The state adopted the "uniform act" which defines deployment for its own purposes.

So what the military might call a deployment does not effect what the state calls a deployment for enforcement of their own statute.

Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

My point is that there are different definitions of the term for different uses, just like the term "veteran" which has a different definition for each statute that passes concerning veteran rights. A person can be a veteran in one statute but not another, at least for purposes of certain rights.

So, while the term deployment could be used to describe your reserve duty based on the statute that I cited above, you can't impose that definition of deployment on a state statute if that state statute has its own definition.

MN adopted the uniform act, and that uniform act (simply meaning an act that is being adopted by numerous states in substantially similar form) has deployment defined, so you can't use extrinsic definitions to overcome its own expressed definition which is a mobilization of at least 90 days.